foot trails

Mangrove Snapper biting despite red tide in Tampa Bay area

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Kyle Gooding of Lakeland caught this 24-inch mangrove snapper on a live scaled sardine while fishing nearshore in 45 feet of water off Anna Maria Island with Capt. John Gunter last week.

1: At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, there’s been some red tide in the area and on Wednesday there were some floating dead fish visible from the pier. Not many anglers have been out this week and only Atlantic spadefish and pinfish have been caught, reports Big Pier 60 Bait & Tackle (727-462-6466).

Fish of the Week

Mangrove Snapper: Despite the red tide in the Tampa Bay area, a few spots are providing good action for mangrove snapper.

Strike Zone, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elsewhere

2: At Madeira Beach, west winds are pushing the red tide closer to the beaches. Out past 5 to 7 miles, the red tide clears. Fishing for red grouper, mangrove and lane snapper is good and really picks up around 60-foot mark. Deeper offshore past 120 foot, the red snapper bite picks up. There’s also good action for blackfin tuna, kingfish and some mahi for the pelagic anglers, reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).

Saltwater Map

3: At John’s Pass, “with the red tide, it’s pretty bleak around the area and John’s Pass is a wasteland. It’s inside the back bays, in the pass and along the beach. With the west winds, the red tide is predicted to get worse along the beach later this week,” reports Hubbard.

4: At Fort De Soto Park, the red tide is pretty bad in the area and the marina has been filling up with dead fish every day. Most of our anglers have heading offshore. “We’ve been closing the bait shop at noon each day this week, but Friday through Sunday, we’ll be open to 2 p.m. for the weekend anglers,” reports Joe Berlin at Tierra Verde Bait and Tackle (727-864-2108).

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